Specialists recommend avoiding meetings if any of the guests has symptoms, not bringing more than two groups together and prioritizing outdoor meetings, among other measures
The specialists of Quirónsalud Murcia and Torrevieja recommend taking extreme precautions especially if you are going to be in contact with people at risk such as elderly people, heart patients, respiratory patients or those with neurodegenerative issues, cancer or immune issues to ensure that they are not placed at risk. Experts also advise that we avoid going to Christmas gatherings if we have symptoms of a respiratory infection.
When asked about PCR tests carried out on the day of the gathering or the day before, the specialists warned that, although it can greatly reduce the risk of contagion, it is not an absolute guarantee.
Among the most important preventive measures, the specialist in internal medicine at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, Dr. Francisco Mora, recommends “avoiding meetings if any of the guests have symptoms, more than two cohabiting groups should not gather, opt for outdoor meetings where possible, keep a safety distance at the table, clean and ventilate common areas, have hydroalcoholic gel in key places in the house, wash hands frequently, remove the mask only when eating or drinking, and avoid sharing food with other diners ”.
In line with lunch and dinner presentations, Dr. María José Carpes, specialist at the Quirónsalud Murcia Hospital, advises “always avoid sharing dishes, present everything individually and avoid picking up food with your hands. Avoid appetizers that are put on shared plates and taken with the hands such as chips, nuts, olives, canapés, etc. ”
Regarding the number of recommended diners, the specialists ask that we all adhere to those allowed by the health authorities and avoid having more than two family groups to reduce contagion.
Family gatherings and children, how to avoid contagion?
Children tend to have less serious infections than adults and are mostly asymptomatic, although as Dr. Carpes from the Quirónsalud Murcia Hospital points out, “the fact that they do not present symptoms means that they cannot present a high viral load, although this is not synonymous with high infectivity. The infectivity will be determined by other factors such as the strength and frequency of the cough, which is usually less intense in children, as well as the proximity of the contacts or the ventilation of the environment ”.
“The measures” indicates Dr. Mora from the Quirónsalud Hospital in Torrevieja, “would be similar to the recommendations for the general population. Among them is the recommended use of a mask in children over 3 years of age, being mandatory from 6 years.”
PCR or antigen, what is the most recommended?
The antigen test is characterized by being faster, but also by offering less sensitivity. “In theory,” explains Dr. Mora, “it is a good option to detect cases during the first week of symptoms, because it only tests positive when there is a high viral load. The problem is that if the infection is incipient, it is possible that hours later the viral load increases and that individual who has tested negative may be contagious. Therefore, it is not reliable enough in asymptomatic people. In this sense, PCR is a more sensitive test and offers more reliable results, so it would be the most convenient test. ”